What is hygge? Here’s what you need to know about hygge … and why you’ll want it in your home.
What the heck is hygge? How do you pronounce it? And why on earth would you want it as part of your home?
If you’ve been browsing Pinterest or bookstore shelves lately, hygge is all around. But unless you know what it is, you have no idea how to create it. Or why you’d even want to.
First of all, hygge is pronounced as hue-ga. And it turns out that hygge is a Danish word and idea that has absolutely everything to do with creating a haven.
For the Danes, hygge is both a noun and verb. “To hygge is to build sanctuary,” writes Louisa Thomsen Brits in The Book of Hygge. “Hygge exists in moments of contentment.”
So, you can actively hygge to find and experience hygge. Or, in other words, you create a haven to find and experience a haven.
As a part of this Danish ideal of haven, people experiencing hygge feel like they belong and are connected. Hygge has a lot to do with nurturing relationships – through inviting others to your home, listening to others well, and making time for people.
And nurturing relationships is exactly what is at the heart of haven creation.
A comforting welcome
Hygge also has everything to do with making your home a comfortable, welcoming place.
According to The Book of Hygge:
“Hygge is strongly associated with our sense of home – both the pleasure of being in a safe and welcoming environment and the severity of being at home within ourselves. … Hygge helps us to create an environment that supports the needs of our hearts and provides room for human experience.”
This environment that supports the needs of our hearts looks pretty comfy cozy in Denmark. And it’s characterized by simple comforting rituals like lingering over homemade, unhurried dinners at home with friends, enjoying a cup of hot tea, lots of candlelight, and bundling up with chunky knit blankets.
Danes consider hygge to be “always anti-modern, and always tinged with nostalgia. Your mobile phone is not hygge. In its native form, hygge is regarded as essentially uncommercial, and by definition modest.” [source]
Of course, in Denmark, this is a brilliant way to deal with long, dreary winters. But the concept and approach is great for homes everywhere around the world. It just happens to be perfectly suited for the fall and winter.
7 ways to embrace hygge in your own home
It’s not difficult to embrace hygge in your own home. It does involve changing your mindset from busily accomplishing so much to being willing to accept margin – and to relax and enjoy the little things in life:
- Instead of turning on a light switch for an overhead light, turn on a lamp instead. Lamps give off such comforting light and help create a cozier haven.
- Enjoy a hot drink like tea, cocoa, or coffee. Savor the flavor … and don’t rush the moment.
- Slow down and cook or bake real food. Hygge’s not a time for takeout. Take your time with the process, enjoy the taste, and don’t worry about calories. Sometimes, there’s nothing more comforting than eating a steaming hot piece of freshly baked homemade bread.
- Put down your technology. Turn off your phone, your computer and your TV. Read a book instead, write a letter, or visit with a loved one.
- Grab a scarf, knit sweater, or a comfy blanket. Bundle up until you’re nice and cozy.
- Get together with your close friends and family. Often. And take your time enjoying each other! Don’t bring up controversial topics or brag about what’s going on in your life, but simply share meaningful conversations.
- Surround yourself with your favorite things. Just like you use your senses to create a haven, use your senses to hygge. Look at some of your favorite pictures by displaying them around your home. Eat your favorite foods. Engage your sense of touch with different comfortable textures. Listen to your favorite music. Add some of your favorite scents to your home with candles, simmer pots, and scented soaps.
Now that you know what hygge is and why you would want it as part of your home, you can keep working on creating a comfortable, welcoming haven. And as you create a haven, remember to use it like the Danes. Nurture relationships and nurture yourself in the process.
Do you think your friends and family need to know about hygge? What changes can you make in your home to create more of a haven for loved ones?
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All images courtesy of Pexels.